Energy use in homes varies significantly across the country due to regional climate differences. On average, about half of the energy used in U.S. homes is expended on space conditioning, i.e. heating and cooling. And, according to the Department of Energy, heat loss through and around doors and windows accounts for more than 25 percent of a home’s heating and cooling costs.
Learning about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems and making wise decisions to improve the efficiency of your systems will have a big effect on your utility bills.
Though the efficiency of furnaces and air conditioners has increased steadily over the last forty years the Department of Energy has set minimum efficiency standards for space conditioning and equipment based on what is “technologically feasible and economically justified.” Beyond these “minimum” standards, the Environmental Protection Agency awards the Energy Star designation to appliances that exceed industry efficiency averages by an EPA specified percentage.
So, if you really want to make a big difference in energy conservation as well as lower your utility bills, by incorporating Energy Star products into your home you’ll be rewarded with a lower utility bill as well as federal/state tax credits. Products such as storm doors, ceiling fans, and heating & cooling systems reap tax credits up to $500.
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